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Information about bag loading operations on load lines at Indiana Army Ammunition Plant (INAAP), prior Hoosier Operating Plant (HOP)

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  1. 1. HOP Load Lines<br />At <br />Indiana Army Ammunition Plant<br />(INAAP)<br />Copyright 2011. FormerMilitarySites.com All rights reserved<br />Charlestown, Indiana<br />
  2. 2. Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />There were 8 Load Line and 4 Igniter Lines built in 1941 as part of the <br />Hoosier Operating Plant (HOP).<br />These facilities were constructed to load bagged charges for large caliber artillery<br />The Igniter Lines were used to load the igniter charges for artillery, and mortar charges <br />The artillery igniters contain black powder and the mortars contain a nitroglycerin<br />based material, both of which are more sensitive than single base propellant. <br />For these reasons, the igniter lines are significantly smaller than the load lines. <br />There is an igniter in each round, the purpose of which is to ignite the <br />propelling charge.<br />When these photos were taken (2008), all igniter lines had already been removed<br />and Load Line 2 was the last of the original load lines still standing. <br />All of the original Load Lines were exactly alike.<br />
  3. 3. LL2b – July 2008<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  4. 4. Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />Load Lines were built in a modified “W” configuration. <br />When viewed from the canteen, as in the next photo, the left leg of the “W” <br />was called the “a” side; the right leg was called the “b” side of the line. <br />Each side was a mirror image of the other.<br />Each side had a receiving magazine for propellant which was located<br />at the top end of each side of our “W”. <br />A covered walkway led to the loading wing. An igniter service magazine was<br />located between the propellant magazine and the loading wing <br />Powder was moved in drums to the loading wing. <br />It went past the Foreman’s Office on the corner to an elevator for transport <br />to the second floor of the loading wing.<br />Safety was a primary concern. Signs posted in each area defined the <br />type and quantity of powder and the maximum number of personnel <br />allowed there at any one time.<br />
  5. 5. Shipping Magazine<br />Receiving Magazine<br />Receiving Magazine<br />Crating Shed<br />Igniter<br />Service Magazine<br />Igniter <br />Service Magazine<br />Loading<br />Covered Walkways<br />Loading<br />Assembly<br />Assembly<br />Canteen<br />Copyright 2011. FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  6. 6. LL2b - Igniter Magazine<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  7. 7. LL2b - Walkway – Receiving Magazine to LL<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  8. 8. LL2b – Foreman’s Office<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  9. 9. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved<br />LL2b Elevator<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  10. 10. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved<br />Limits<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  11. 11. Copyright 2011. FormerMilitarySites.com<br />When powder reached the second floor it was dumped into a hopper. <br />The first floor of the load line contained a series of rooms called loading booths.<br />There was one hopper to serve each load booth.<br />The configuration of the load booths was changed for each type of charge loaded. <br />Many families of charges (105mm, 155mm) consist of several increments, which <br />are individual bags of different sizes that , in total, comprise a single charge.<br />Only one family of charges was produced at one time on a Load Line or Igniter Line.<br />In the event of danger, the operator was told to immediately exit the building<br />and use the escape chute to get to the ground.<br />
  12. 12. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved<br />2nd Floor Hallway Hopper<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  13. 13. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved<br />LL2b Escape Chute<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  14. 14. LL2b – Second Floor Walkway<br /> and Emergency Exit<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  15. 15. Copyright 2011. FormerMilitarSites.com<br />The first floor of each load line consisted of 8 load booths (rooms).<br />There were 4 load booths on each side of the building, with a center aisle <br />between the load booths.<br />The load booths would be set up as required for the product being produced. <br />They typically contained tables, scales, and sewing machines. In later years a rapid <br />reacting deluge system was installed.<br />Bags, produced in the Bag Room, were delivered to each booth and filled with powder.<br />The powder was manufactured in the Propellant and Explosives (P&E) manufacturing<br /> area, originally the Indiana Ordnance Works (IOW). The filled increment<br /> was weighed twice and then sewn shut.<br />Great care was taken to prevent the propagation of fire from any area to adjacent <br />areas in the event of accidental ignition, so a series of interlocking doors with a transfer <br />surface connected each load booth to the center aisle. <br />The operator would place a finished charge in the transfer surface and close the door. <br />This action opened the door in the center aisle, allowing an operator there to remove the <br />finished charge and place it on a conveyor for transport to the assembly wing.<br />
  16. 16. LL2b – Scales (Storage in Maintenance Shop))<br />Copyright 2008. All rights reserved<br />LL2 Scales in Storage<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  17. 17. LL2 – Doors to Loading Booths<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  18. 18. LL2 – Load Booth<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  19. 19. LL2 – Chutes from Load Booth to Center Aisle<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  20. 20. LL2b - Center Aisle<br />Copyright 2010 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  21. 21. Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />The center aisle conveyor transported finished increments to the assembly wing,<br />located at the bottom of the “W”.<br />There they were assembled into a finished charge and placed into a cans.<br />A drawing of the 155mm M3A1 finished charge is included to illustrate.<br />A covered walkway ran up the center legs of the “W” to the crating shed, with a <br />conveyor located under the roof but separated from the walkway.<br />The cans were transported to the crating shed on the conveyor where they <br />were sealed, the air evacuated, leak tested to ensure a good seal, and palletized.<br />Sealed cans were transported to the shipping magazine for pick up.<br />If the finished charges were stored on site instead of shipped out, they were <br />placed in one of the underground igloos until needed. <br />
  22. 22. Components of a Propelling Charge<br />
  23. 23. LL2b - Assembly<br />Copyright 2011. All rights reserved<br />
  24. 24. LL2b - Assembly<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  25. 25. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved<br />Covered Walkway to Packout<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  26. 26. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved<br />LL2b Finished Charge Walkway<br />Copyright 2010 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  27. 27. LL2b – Packout<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  28. 28. LL2 – Vacuum Machine to Evacuate Air from Cans<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  29. 29. LL2 – Shipping Magazine<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  30. 30. Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />Each side of a load line also had restrooms and a break room.<br />At the bottom center of our “W” was a covered walkway to the canteen which <br />served both the “a” and “b” sides of the Load Line. Employees ate their lunch <br />in the canteen. <br />The back part of the canteen housed a scale repair shop and the mechanical <br />Equipment required for the Load Line: boiler, air compressor, etc.<br />
  31. 31. LL2b – Break Room<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  32. 32. LL2 - Walkway from Canteen to Load Lines<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  33. 33. LL2 – Safety Sign<br />Copyright 2010 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  34. 34. LL2 – Safety Sign 2<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  35. 35. LL2 Canteen<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  36. 36. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved<br />LL2 Air Compressor<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  37. 37. Copyright 2010 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />Explosive facilities are assumed to always be contaminated with explosive particles. <br />The following categories, which are no longer used, formerly defined explosives <br />contamination levels and were in effect when the plant was active:<br />• 1X – (X) Substantial contamination (explosive residue) exists.<br />• 3X - (XXX) Cleaning has removed surface contamination, but significant amounts <br />may remain in less obvious places. <br />• 5X - (XXXXX) This level applies when no significant amounts of contaminants remain<br />• 0 – (zero) Articles, equipment or buildings were never contaminated,<br />The ground and buildings remains at INAAP are being transferred to the Clark<br />County Reuse Authority. Before transfer, they must be cleaned to the equivalent <br />of the former 5X status. The traditional method for achieving this was to apply <br />high heat via open flame for an extended period. That method was used on some <br />facilities; alternate methods are currently being utilized<br />
  38. 38. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved<br />LL3 – Thermal Decontamination<br />Photo courtesy US Army<br />
  39. 39. LL4 – After Decontamination<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  40. 40. LL4 – After Decontamination<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  41. 41. LL4 – After Decontamination<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  42. 42. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved<br />Copyright 2011 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  43. 43. There were once many of these facilities in the US. They produced the materials <br />used to defeat the Axis powers in World War II. Creating these facilities necessitated <br />the displacement of the prior land owners. They were built on a rapid timetable<br />and required the labor of many workers to build and operate.<br />The IOW and HOP were combined into the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant (INAAP, <br />Pronounced IN’-app) and produced materials used in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and <br />Operation Iraqi Freedom. Many of the materials produced at INAAP are still in the<br />active inventory. <br />We salute the displaced landowners, the people that built and operated the facility, <br />the taxpayers that funded the effort, and most of all the military personnel that <br />fought our country’s wars to secure and hold our freedom.<br />May we never forget.<br />Copyright 2011. FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  44. 44. Copyright 2010 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />Large sections of the former load line area have been redeveloped as the <br />River Ridge Commerce Center. The following photographs show what the area <br />looks like today.<br />Thanks to Kerry Dupaquier, David Hackel and the River Ridge Commerce Center.<br />
  45. 45. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved<br />Copyright 2010 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />
  46. 46. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved<br />Copyright 2010 FormerMilitarySites.com<br />

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